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Monday, December 9, 2013

Volunteers decorate veterans' homes

Jessica Sutherland got a nice surprise Saturday morning. A team of over 50 volunteers showed up at her house on Dodson Drive in Annandale to do yard work, including mulching and bulb planting, and put up holiday decorations.

The volunteers were with the Decorate a Vet program, which was started in 2010 by Jeff Jones, the owner of Classic Stonescaping + Gardens, because many military veterans and service members can’t take care of basic household chores. The group organizes teams to do outdoor work, like cleaning gutters, and makes homes safer for wounded veterans by installing accessibility features like wheelchair ramps.

Sutherland plans to keep the decorations up until February, when her husband, a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force, comes home. He’s been deployed in Afghanistan since April 1. They have two children at Columbia Elementary School.

Earlier in the week, Decorate a Vet sent a professional landscaping team from Classic Stonescaping + Gardens to her house to install stepping stones and a retaining wall.

Decorate a Vet volunteers were planning to take care of seven houses last weekend and three next weekend. Local homes are nominated by individuals or American Legion Post 130 in Falls Church.

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